It was another great gifting adventure at this years Essence Magazine’s Best In Black Beauty Awards in NYC’s Meatpacking District at the Sugar Factory, brought to you by my favorite and only brand to keep my pearly whites super white aside from my semi-annual teeth cleaning at the dentist, the only used toothpaste product in my bathroom cabinet: Colgate Optic White.
Essence Magazine beauty editor Julee Wilson hosted an illuminating conversation with TV personality Vanessa Simmons and the OMG Girl herself, singer Zonnique where they discussed some of their best beauty regimens, as the secrets to magnifying that great melanin skin is a prized topic to discuss. Not only did attendees get to walk away with some fantastic tips and pointers during the special cocktail reception, as expected, there were tons of free beauty and makeup brands to choose from, all the best new products out for black women; along with delicious cocktails and hors d’oeurvres, an assortment of ice cream flavors and sorbet, plus a quick sit-down chat with the absolutely stunning Vanessa J. Simmons where she discussed her women’s empowerment movement and website, balancing a steadily bustling career with motherhood & family, as well as some of her must-do beauty tips.
Happy to be in NYC as she has been based in Los Angeles for the past 11 years, Vanessa shared a bit about launching her digital platform VanessaJSimmons.com, a website that’s dedicated in empowering women through beauty, fitness, and inspiration. “I wanted to create a place where I can encourage women to be the best versions of themselves,” she said. “So we have everything from the fashion line that I created with Candice Cuoco – Bad Butterfly, the Miss Teenage California scholarship pageant that awards hundreds of thousands of dollars to young women; basically everything that is based on the website is meant to empower women.”
Speaking on the difficulties of her having to step away from her daughter Ava for work ventures, on the topic of balancing motherhood and being a boss is definitely something that is, “Easier said than done,” said Vanessa. “It takes a lot of planning and organizing because I like to play a really active role in my daughter’s life; I don’t like the idea of a nanny raising her or anything like that, I like to be really active so I only choose ventures and things that I strongly believe in to pursue, and then that way when I’m only pursuing things that are in line with my goal, I’m able to know what not to entertain and then it gives me time to go back to being a mom.” As far as beauty must do’s, Vanessa encouraged, “Definitely wiping off your makeup everyday, not wiping off your makeup is the biggest mistake you can ever make; so wash your makeup off. Drink lots of water with lemon and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is really good for your face.”
And also in the building was the unmistakable fashionista herself, Claire Sumners of Fashion Bomb Daily who sat on the panel last year, in a totally stylish pink suit walking through the venue giving great poise and flare as she does always.
This years checklist didn’t fail to delight one bit with all kinds of beauty treats, from beauty and makeup, the top skincare products to perfume and that Radiant Colgate Optic White meant to enhance your smile. The take home goody bag swag is always a treat as this was my second Best In Black Beauty Awards apart from last year’s, and the gifting only seems to get better and better with every essential hand-picked item meant for every feminine demand.